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Listening to employees, you might think, is a no-brainer. But, when you look deeper, you probably will be surprised at how little of listening happens in today’s workplace. In a recent poll of professional workers in the U.S. and Canada, a whopping 64% of the 675 workers polled, agreed that “leaders making decisions without seeking input,” was their biggest problem. This is one of the largest problems companies face in the workplace.

The following are five reasons why listening to your employees is essential to your business.

Employee Initiative

In a recent poll, 38% of employees felt that when leaders dismiss their ideas without entertaining them, they tend to lack initiative. An active and committed employee base, is one of the benefits of listening to your employees.

Management, HR and department leaders who are willing to tap into their own creativity and imitative, have sparked greater efforts from the workforce. Active listening starts within your ranks, and when nurtured, will branch out to your employees.

Engagement and Innovation

The importance of listening to employees can be seen in terms of innovation. Many companies encourage their employee’s opinions through contests, rewards, and bonus structures. When employee ideas are heard and encouraged, the company can stand to positively impact the bottom-line, whilst engaging the employee simultaneously.

Staying Proactive

Instead of always finding ideas, suggestions and feedback from top-down processes, the power of crowd sourcing can be particularly effective in understanding what is truly important to employees. With the right tools, letting employees themselves ask and engage can bring issues that you need to be solving to the forefront. CEO’s, Executive leadership, and HR directors can use this data in real-time to determine trending ideas, conversations, and feedback. This allows them to take immediate action, and enables a proactive, rather than reactive, approach.

Retention

Many employers make the mistake of moving forward with plans, like benefits programs, and bonus structures, without engaging their employees first. Listening to employees concerns can help you develop retention strategies that focus on boosting employee morale. With a solid program in place, that encourages active listening of employee concerns, you can have a positive impact on your retention percentage.

The Bottom-Line

Another key reason why listening to employees is important is how impactful it can be to your bottom-line. Employees who feel listened to feel more connected with the employer and in turn feel more engaged and motivated to do the best work for the organization. In addition to having tools in place that can help ensure that you are listening to your employees, having regular open forums such as All-Hands Friday lunches, Quarterly all-hands on company goals etc. can inculcate a culture of listening and open communication within the company.

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